Has swine flu alerted you to avoid crowded places as some medical practioneers have been cautioning? At least not quiz enthusiasts, who were gathered in large numbers at the Music Academy here on Saturday, to witness the battle of intelligence, aptitude and smart guesswork.

The 18th edition of the Landmark Quiz 2009 had the organisers distribute mask too, but only to see a majority of them dangling them on to their neckline. As enthusiasts would say, watching a quiz is incomplete without whispers, guesses and applause.

There has been a decrease in the number of school level participants this edition, but the overall participation has been good, said Himanshu Chakrawarti, COO, Landmark.

Quizmaster Navin Jayakumar, as usual, was at his best thrilling the participants and audience with his well-packed questions.

Answer this: When Arabic numerals were invented they were not accepted immediately. Why?

Printing technology was poor, Zero is an Arabic numeral … were all the wrong answers from the participants. Finally, it was one of the participants spouse, sitting among the crowd, who got it right, Arabic numbers were easy to forge, so they had to rethink on it.

Many such question like Kishore Kumar so admired this person that he paid tribute to him in two of these scenes. Name the person., What is the TJ brand?, What 1959 treaty signed by 12 countries including the U.S. and U.S.S.R. demilitarised future arms control?, some of which the audience also got to answer and win prizes, made sure the audience sat hooked to their seats.

Equally catchy were the names the teams had coined HINI and Sum 1, Quiz Before Swine, The team with no name, Obama Satyabama and We are like this only. However, it was Born to rule but forced to school who got the Best Team Name.

The regional finals of the Chennai leg were followed by the national finals, where the top two teams from Pune, Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai competed for the coveted title.

After an exciting battle where answers had to be given in 20 seconds and a buzzer round, team Q.E.D. from Pune comprising Swamy, Samanth Subramaniam and V.V. Ramanan won the Landmark Quiz 09.

Prizes were also awarded to Best Corporate Team, Best College Team, Best School Team.